The Honors Experience

The Honors College intentionally mixes students from disciplines and majors across the entire campus. The Honors College is an environment promoting new ideas that enrich all members of the JMU community. 

Being in the Honors College affords you a number of unique benefits.

Enriched Curriculum

Honors classes encourage faculty and students to explore the world’s problems more creatively and in greater depth. Honors courses tend to emphasize discussion, and challenge students to engage in rigorous and imaginative thinking.

The requirements of the Honors College are flexible. Many Honors courses also satisfy other university or major requirements. Students may choose an area of emphasis to expand their experience in the Honors College.

Faculty Mentorship

Academic mentorship lies at the heart of the Honors experience. Through small classes, individualized study, and independent research, Honors students have access to exceptional faculty from across the university. The Honors capstone project provides the framework for close, sustained collaboration with a faculty mentor. For many Honors students the opportunity to forge these professional relationships endures as the most important aspect of their college careers.

Research and Scholarly Opportunities

Scholarly work is a fundamental component of an Honors education. Undergraduate research and scholarship at JMU is extremely varied. It may involve scientists working in a lab or the field; archival investigations in the humanities or survey methods in the social and health sciences; business plans and website design; photo or art exhibitions; musical and dance recitals. 

All students in Honors are expected to engage in research or scholarly work, or become involved in sustained creative endeavor during their time at JMU. The Honors capstone project, the culminating Honors activity, is a mentored experience designed by the student and a faculty advisor. 

Study Abroad

The Honors College offers specially-designed study abroad opportunities for its students. Past years' destinations include London, Florence, Barcelona, Malta, and South Africa. JMU study abroad programs in Oxford, Cambridge, and St. Andrews also afford additional opportunities to earn Honors credits abroad. 

To help support these study abroad opportunities, Honors students are eligible for scholarship support. For more information on nationally competitive scholarships, contact the Office of Fellowships and Awards.

Honors Housing

Shenandoah Hall

The Honors College offers its students the opportunity to live in dedicated Honors housing. Over 300 first and second year Honors students live together in Shenandoah Hall.

Trelawny Learning Community

Biology/Biotechnology majors are eligible to be part of the Trelawny Learning Community (TLC) which is concurrently housed in the Honors Living and Learning Center in Shenandoah Hall.

As part of this program, participants have access to faculty mentors, research opportunities, and discipline-specific excursions. For more information on how to apply, please contact Professor Corey Cleland.

Additional Privileges and Benefits

Hillcrest House

  • Honors recognition on your transcript and diploma. 
  • Access to Hillcrest House facilities, which provide Honors students a comfortable student lounge, study areas, and a computer lab.
  • Honors faculty and advisors, who are there to help you make the most of your college experience.
  • Priority enrollment, because Honors students juggle demanding course loads and academic commitments.
  • Opportunities to engage with fellow Honors students through curated academic and recreational experiences.


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